Ash Wednesday Date in the current year: February 10, 2016

Ash Wednesday Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent in the Western Christianity. It's observed 46 days before Easter (40 weekdays and 6 Sundays) by Catholics, Methodists, Lutherans, Anglicans and Presbyterians.

Ash Wednesday is the fasting day, that marks the begin of a forty-day fasting before Easter. Eating meat is inappropriate on this day.

The name Ash Wednesday derives from the traditional practice, when blessed ashes are used to sprinkle over heads or draw a visible cross on foreheads of the Christians. These two methods of using ash are the most common, but they are not sole. There were no special rules laid down, that is why ash may be used in different ways. The ash for blessing is made from palm branches, that were blessed on the previous year Palm Sunday.

The gesture of drawing ash cross is accompanied by the words “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”. These words are based of the words spoken to Adam and Eve after their sin. This formula should remind the worshipers of their sinfulness and mortality.

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